Enid Blytonís Famous Five: Five On A Treasure Island + Five With A Mystery To Solve (1957 & 1964/BFI (British Film Institute)
DVDs/Region 2 Imports)
Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: C†††† Episodes: C+
PLEASE NOTE: These PAL
DVDs are only available in the U.K.
from our friends at BFI and can be ordered from them at the website address links
provided below at the end of the review or at finer retailers.
Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew literary tradition, Enid Blytonís Famous Five characters offers mature
children/young teen characters with some intelligence taking on rather adult
situations, usually of a nature of robbery, mystery and sometimes murder.† Before the hit TV versions that were made in
the late 1970s and late 1990s, two serializations were made on film and have
not always been readily available to fans.†
Now, BFI has issued both on separate DVDs of the two adventures made at
the time, likely to compete with what Disney was doing on TV with their Hardy Boys on The Mickey Mouse Club.
Five On A Treasure Island (1957) has the gang looking for
hidden treasure at Kirrin
Castle, but some adults
have other plans for the lootÖ and them.†
Dick (John Baily), Ann (Gillian Harrison), George (Rel Grainer), Julian
(Richard Palmer) and Timmy The Dog have eight chapters to solve this one, while
Five With A Mystery To Solve (1964,
with Dick now played by Darryl Reed, Julian by David Palmer, George by Mandy
Harper and Ann by Paula Boyd) run a shorter 6 installments and has the gang
going to an island with dark secrets and a young man named Wilfred (Michael
Wennink) who can seemingly communicate with animals.
like about the series are their smartness and not wanting or needing to hit the
young audience over the head with anything, including ad placements and any
condescending mentalities.† It also tends
to move at a slower pace than I would have even liked then, being a fan of such
fiction at a young age.† Still, these are
interesting, quality productions and their release on DVD is deserved and sure
to find an audience that appreciates such child-friendly work.† Peter Burton and Iris Russell are among the
supporting cast of the first series, while Michael Balfour and Keith Pyott head
the second cast.
X 1 black and white image is from 35mm fine grain prints and look good for
their age, with good gray scale and good detail, while the Dolby Digital 320
kbps 2.0 Mono comes from a 35mm audio print.†
The only extras in both releases are booklets inside each of the
respective DVD cases with text, technical information, stills, poster art,
promo items, boo covers and essays by Vic Pratt and two different essays on
each film by Norman Wright.
order these DVDs at the following links:
-†† Nicholas Sheffo